This week’s Reagan Forum Podcast will be a little different, as we will spend it by honoring the expansion of the Reagan Library Peace Through Strength Pavilion.

In this podcast, we’ll look back to a few addresses delivered by President Reagan in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. As you recall, beginning almost immediately after King’s assassination in April 1968, members of Congress proposed that his birthday ought to be a national holiday, but bills mandating the occasion went nowhere. The effort received more publicity when, after about a decade, shortly after the failure of a bill that was introduced by Rep. John Conyers Jr. of Michigan in September of 1979, Stevie Wonder released a song called “Happy Birthday.” Despite its cheery title, it was specifically meant to make a case for the holiday, calling out anyone who didn’t support the idea. In 1982, Coretta Scott King and Stevie Wonder presented a petition with more than six million signatures in support of the holiday to the then speaker of the house. In November 1983 President Ronald Reagan signed a bill establishing the third Monday of January as the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday.

In this week’s Reagan Forum Podcast we go back one month to our 2021 Reagan National Defense Forum. But rather than share one of the panel discussions, as we’ve been previously doing, this podcast is going to focus on our annual Peace Through Strength Award ceremony. Presented at each Reagan National Defense Forum since 2013, the Ronald Reagan Peace Through Strength Award recognizes those who have applied, with constant purpose, a strategy to strengthen our armed forces, support our military men and women striving around the world, reinforce our nation’s defense systems and safeguard the lives and interests of the American people.

As we approach a new year, let’s throw a Hail Mary pass to one of President Reagan’s favorite sports….football. So in this podcast, we’ll cover his thoughts on sports, his New Years Address, 40 years ago on January 1, 1982 when he focused on the Rose Bowl competitors, Iowa and the Washington Huskies, we’ll catch his Remarks at the opening of the Champions of America exhibit, and we’ll listen to his interview with Tom Brokaw at Superbowl 20 in 1986.

There’s a lot of talk about the environment these days – climate change of course – but also many other issues. With those issues top of mind, let’s take another look at those seminal radio addresses, written in the late 70’s. Initially, when he set out to write these essays, there was no special plan to cover particular issues. From 1975-1979, he chose various topics week by week, choosing ones that he thought were timely. The result was nonetheless a blueprint for the policy issues that were important to Reagan from 1975-1979.

You may recall a recent gubernatorial election in the state of Virginia where a virtual unknown Republican by the name of Glenn Youngkin prevailed. Basically, the pundits hailed his win as a victory for parental rights in education. 45 years ago, the same concern was expressed by Governor Reagan in a radio address to the nation. Actually, he wrote a number of essays on what was wrong with American education and today, you’ll have a chance to listen to a few of these. You’ll note a strong theme running throughout all his writings…which is the desirability of local control and the dangers of interference by the federal government.

In this week’s Reagan Forum podcast we go back just a few days to November 30, 2021 for our in-person conversation with New York Times best selling author Joel Rosenberg on his newest book, Enemies and Allies: An Unforgettable Journey Inside the Fast Moving and Immensely Turbulent Modern Middle East. Joel Rosenberg is most known for his 16 political thriller novels like The Last Jihad and The Auschwitz Escape. But he is also an American-Israeli communicators strategist, non-profit executive and author of multiple non-fiction books, including the one he joined us for. Among the readers of his books are Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former President George W. Bush, former CIA Director Porter Goss, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, former Israeli Interior Minister Natan Sharansky, and many other foreign leaders.

Today, when most of us think about Venezuela, the former socialist President Hugo Chavez comes to mind. He led the nation from 2002 until his death in 2013. While initially a “populist” leader, he implemented a socialist revolution, fueled by massive oil revenues and made the country resemble an authoritarian state. After his death, President Nicolas Maduro succeeded him along with Juan Guaido, and the net result has been dismal. The South American country has been caught in a downward spiral for years with growing political discontent further fuelled by skyrocketing hyperinflation, power cuts, and shortages of food and medicine. More than 5.6 million Venezuelans have left the country in recent years. But in 1981, 40 years ago, when our 40th President came into office, Venezuela’s leader was an advocate of democracy. With a desire to solidify the relationship with this important South American ally, President Reagan held a state dinner in November 1981 for President Luis Herrera Campins and welcomed him to the White House.

In this week’s Reagan Forum podcast we go to our in-person program with conservative talk radio host and bestselling author Michael Medved. Mr. Medved was kind enough to be our first in-person event back in July 2021 after we had been shutdown for 14 months due to COVID. The event was so successful, that he agreed to come back. Michael Medved returned to the Reagan Library just before the Thanksgiving Holiday to discuss “Guilt versus Gratitude” which confronts America’s self-esteem crisis. For all their raging disagreements, the detractors and defenders of the United States share one point of common conviction: that America represents an unprecedented, deeply consequential development in the history of civilization. The core dispute behind our current culture war involves the nature of that uniqueness, and whether America qualifies as exceptionally guilty or exceptionally great. Michael Medved addresses this ferocious debate in the context of his two New York Times bestselling books, THE AMERICAN MIRACLE and THE 10 BIG LIES ABOUT AMERICA.

1981 was a year of firsts: Ronald Reagan’s first year as President and the Space Shuttle’s first mission in April and second mission in November. From Space Shuttle Columbia’s first journey in 1981 to the last journey of Endeavour in June 2011 the Space Shuttle program inspired many Americans in many different ways. Today, we’re focused on the Space Shuttle Columbia, know as the First in the Fleet.

In this week’s Reagan Forum Podcast we go back one week to the Reagan Library’s Veterans Day Program, which included an honor guard, live music, and keynote remarks by United States Marine Corps Vietnam veteran Bob Parsons. Mr. Parsons is the recipient of the Purple Heart Medal, Combat Action Ribbon and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. An American entrepreneur, he is best-known as the founder of and PXG. He and his wife are also the founders of The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, which provides transformational grants to nonprofit organizations including those who focus on the needs of wounded veterans and military families.

During the assassination attempt of President Reagan in March 1981, his Press Secretary James Brady was severely wounded and permanently disabled by Hinckley’s random shots. The wound left him with slurred speech and partial paralysis that required the full-time use of a wheelchair. Never able to return to work, President and Mrs. Reagan honored his contribution by renaming the Press Briefing Room as the Brady Press Briefing Room, 40 years ago on November 9th, 1981. In this podcast, we’ll learn about this remarkable man, James Brady, we’ll learn a little about the history of the White House Press Room and we’ll catch the President’s remarks with some fun banter from Mr. Brady and Mrs. Reagan, along with a few members of the press, like Sam Donaldson and Helen Thomas.

Although today is Veterans Day, we will spend today’s Reagan Forum Podcast celebrating the Reagan Library’s 30th Anniversary. Last week we brought you the official opening day ceremonies from November 4, 1991. Today we go back just a few days to November 7, 2021, for the Library’s 30th Anniversary Commemorative Program, featuring former Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice, former Reagan Speechwriter Peter Robinson, and David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States.

40 years ago this month, President Reagan was delighted to accept an award, presented to him at the 84th Annual Dinner of the Irish-American Society in New York City. He was introduced by Dr. Kevin Cahill, president of the Society, who presented the President with a medal representing the Society’s highest award. Now of course, it’s an honor receive an award. But what the President truly enjoyed was a chance to celebrate his Irish heritage and tell a few stories himself.

On November 4, 1991, President Reagan stood alongside four other living U.S. Presidents – the first time in history five presidents had ever gathered together before – and officially opened the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. Since that time, millions of visitors have visited our hilltop to experience the life and legacy of our nation’s 40th president. And, in those 30 years, we have grown – in 2005 we opened the Air Force One Pavilion which houses President Reagan’s Air Force One, President Johnson’s Marine One, and a portion of Ronald Reagan’s motorcade; in 2011 we renovated all of our galleries; in 2018 we added a hologram of President Reagan, and we’ve added outdoor displays, including an F14 fighter jet, an F117 stealth fighter jet, and an M1 Abrams tank. And, of course, the Reagan Library is now the final resting place for both President and Mrs. Reagan. In this week’s Reagan Forum podcast we go back 30 years today to the opening of the Library, to hear the opening day’s ceremonies.

Today the subject is Presidential Libraries because this month we’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. But wait, here’s a question for ya – who was the first President to have a Presidential Library by leaving his papers to the Federal Government? The answer is FDR who not only left his papers, but ultimately, his Hyde Park residence. So, that’s why we hear about George Washington’s or Thomas Jefferson’s or Lincoln’s papers in private collections because earlier, when a President left office, he just packed up the work product and went home. So, after FDR left his to the government, President Truman followed suit, leaving his papers to the government at which point Congress passed the Presidential Libraries Act, providing Federal Funding for the preservation of the work product of the White House.

When a President enters office, he inherits unfinished business from the prior administration. 40 years ago, one of the bits of dicey business President Reagan inherited was a promise made by President Carter to sell AWACS or Advance Radar Surveillance Aircraft to Saudi Arabia.

In this week’s Reagan Forum podcast we go back one month to September 14, 2021 for our virtual event held in partnership with the Heritage Foundation, entitled “Does President Reagan Matter to Generation Z?” The program was moderated by Joseph Loconte, the Director for the B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies at Heritage, as well as Tunku Varadarajan, a nonresident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. The panel included Matthew Continetti, Senior Fellow from the American Enterprise Institute, Henry Nau, a professor emeritus of political science at George Washington University, and Reagan Biographer Craig Shirley.

40 years ago, on October 6, 1981, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated. Both President and Mrs. Reagan were deeply disturbed to learn of this tragedy, as only two months before, they warmly welcomed President Sadat and his wife to the White House and honored them with a state dinner. In this podcast, we’ll learn about the tragic assassination attempt, the funeral and in the second half of the podcast, the relationship that developed between the Reagans and the Sadats in August 1981.

In this week’s Reagan Forum podcast we go back to April 19, 2021, for our virtual event with former GE CEO Jeff Immelt for a conversation on his latest book, Hot Seat: What I learned leading a great American company. Jeff Immelt served as Chairman and CEO of GE for 16 years where he revamped the company’s strategy, global footprint, workforce, and culture.  During his tenure, he led several innovative transformations that doubled industrial earnings, reshaped the portfolio, re-established market leadership, and quadrupled emerging market revenue. He is currently a Venture Partner at New Enterprise Associates and he has been named one of the World’s Best CEOs three times by Barrons. Let’s listen.